Grace and Delia Are Gone: Tales for the Stage, IV

by Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi

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about

The original soundtrack for "Delia and Grace Are Gone" -- an aerial dance piece created by Jo Kreiter and Flyaway Productions, exploring issues of violence against women as seen through the lens of the American murder ballad. It is an assemblage of murder ballads, propulsive percussion, spine-chilling whispers, and powerful vocals conceived by longtime Kreiter collaborators Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi, and featuring guest appearances by Shahzad Ismaily and Mark Orton. Other Kihlstedt/Bossi collaborations with Flyaway can be heard on Ravish and Other Tales for the Stage, I, and on Niagara Falling: Tales for the Stage, III.

Kreiter's dance pieces are something of a touchstone for us as composers. We've been writing music for her every several years for two decades now. They are dark and full of personal and socieital complexities. They give you no answers but leave you seeing, feeling and questioning more deeply. 'Grace and Delia...' is no exception. The tradition of the American murder ballad is an old one, and when seen with a backdrop of American militarism and the unrelenting violence against women, a picture we'd perhaps rather not look at, emerges. Sometimes we must stand and look at the most difficult parts of ourselves and our culture, where beauty, strength, violence and despair comingle.

The final ballad, "Mile One" uses this quotation from Rebecca Solnit's "Pandora's Box and the Volunteer Police Force" (from "Men Explain Things to Me") as its point of departure:

‘Here is that road, maybe a thousand miles long, and the woman walking down it isn’t at mile one. I don’t know how far she has to go, but I know she’s not going backward, despite it all—and she’s not walking alone. -- Rebecca Solnit

credits

released September 16, 2016

Carla Kihlstedt: Voice, Violin, Viola, Nyckelharpa
Matthias Bossi: Voice, Drums, Percussion, Found Sound, Piano, Programming
Shahzad Ismaily: Guitar & Bass on 'Beautiful Tomorrow" and "Mile One"
Mark Orton: National Steel and Dobro on "Beautiful Tomorrow"
Aoife Cahill: Mournful Lullaby

Recorded by Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, Shahzad Ismaily, and Elisha Wiesner
Mixed by Matthias Bossi
Mastered by Jon Evans at Brick Hill in Orleans, MA

Album photo by RJ Muna

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Rabbit Rabbit Radio Falmouth, Massachusetts

Rabbit Rabbit Radio is the song-spinning duo of Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi. Collectively, they are founding members of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Tin Hat, 2 Foot Yard, Causing a Tiger, The Book of Knots, and Fred Frith’s Cosa Brava.

Drawing on their love of both art & folk song, industrial & improvised music and heart-wrenching balladry, their songs are raw, beautiful, sparse and rich.
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Track Name: Bow and Balance
There was an old woman, lived on the seashore
Bow and balance me
There was an old woman, lived on the seashore
Her number of daughters: one, two, three, four
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

There was a young man come there to see them
Bow and balance me
There was a young man come there to see them
and the oldest one was struck on the head
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

He bought the youngest a beaver hat
Bow and balance me
He bought the youngest a beaver hat
and the oldest one got mad at that
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

Oh, sister oh, sister let's walk the seashore
Bow and balance me
Oh, sister oh, sister let's walk the seashore
and see the ships as they're sailing o'er
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

While these two sisters were walking the shore
Bow and balance me
While these two sisters were walking the shore
the oldest pushed the youngest o'er
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

Oh, sister oh, sister please lend me your hand
Bow and balance me
Oh, sister oh, sister please lend me your hand
and you may have Willy and all of his land
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

I never, I never will lend you my hand
Bow and balance me
I never, oh never will lend you my hand
but I'll have Willy and all of his land
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

Well, sometimes she swam and sometimes she swam
Bow and balance me
Well, sometimes she swam and sometimes she swam
untill she came to the old mill dam
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

Oh, father oh, father come draw your dam
Bow and balance to me,
Oh, father oh, father come draw your dam
Here's either a mermaid or a swan,
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

The miller, he got his fishinghook
Bow and balance me
The miller, he got his fishinghook
and fished the maiden out of the brook
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

Oh, miller oh, miller here's five gold rings
Bow and balance me
Oh, miller oh, miller here's five gold rings
if you'll put me safe on shore again
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

The miller received those five gold rings
Bow and balance me
The miller received those five gold rings
and pushed the maiden in again
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me

The miller was hung at his own mill gate
Bow and balance me
The miller was hung at his own mill gate
for drowning my little sister Kate
And I'll be true to my love if my love will be true to me
Track Name: The River - The Drowning
Grace...
The water knows,
The wind knows,
Every hair on your neck knows,
Every inch of your skin feels...

Grace...
Hope is your promise,
Promise is your dream,
But dreams cloud the water.

Trust the water.
Oh, trust the water.
Look deep, and you'll see.

Trust the water.

Look past the face on the dream-clouded surface
to see your body far below.

Look at me, focus, deeper, deeper.

Look at me, focus, deeper, deeper, deeper.
Track Name: Beautiful Tomorrow
In the beautiful tomorrow, sweeter than today
There will never be no sorrow
All the tears will pass away
There will never be a sunset or a fading of the day
In the beautiful tomorrow, oh, sweeter than today.

In the beautiful tomorrow, oh, sweeter than today
Where the sadness and the sorrow
can't take my joy away
Tears will always be memories
I'll be happy every day
In the beautiful tomorrow, so much sweeter than today.

In the beautiful tomorrow, oh the beautiful tomorrow
There will be no sorrow, all the tears will pass away.
There will never be a sunset or a fading of the day
In the beautiful tomorrow, oh, sweeter than today.

In the beautiful tomorrow, so much sweeter than today.
In the beautiful tomorrow, tears will pass away.
There'll be no heartache, there'll be no pain
In the beautiful tomorrow, so much sweeter than today.

In the beautiful tomorrow, In the beautiful tomorrow
There will be no sorrow, all my tears will pass away
There will be no dark clouds to block my gaze
In the beautiful tomorrow, so much sweeter than today.
Track Name: Mile One (For Rebecca Solnit and Jo Kreiter)
Here is a road
A thousand miles long
She walks down step by step
She isn't at mile one

I don't know how far she has to go,
but she'll never walk backwards.

Here is that day
Filled with a thousand tears
She tastes them one by one
and thinks about the sea.

I don't know how far she has to go,
but she doesn't walk alone.

Here is the room
It holds tempest, holds a storm
The wind picks up inside
But outside all is calm.

I don't know how far she has to go,
but she'll never walk backwards.

Here is the gun
It holds a thousand threats but needs just only one.
It turns around in the drawer
It follows across the floor.

I don't know how far she has to go,
but she doesn't walk alone.

She doesn't walk alone.